Grain sorghum (or milo) is a minor rotational crop in Tennessee. Sorghum is more drought-tolerant than either corn or soybeans and provides another non-host crop for managing soybean cyst nematode populations. Grain sorghum can be used in a double-crop system following wheat or as a late-planted grain crop. Several insect pests may significantly reduce yield. Insecticide applications are commonly needed, especially for late-planted sorghum.
Recommended Planting Dates
Grain sorghum should be planted from May 1 to June 1 for highest yields. Planting before mid-May will help avoid some insect damage from sorghum midge, fall armyworm, sorghum webworm, corn earworm, and sugarcane aphid.
Insecticide Seed Treatments
Insecticidal seed treatments (e.g., Cruiser, Poncho) are available from seed companies. Seed treatments will help control some seed and seedling pests such as chinch bug, greenbug, wireworms and white grubs. There has been little testing of these treatments in Tennessee. However, recent data indicates that these insecticide seed treatments may reduce infestations of sugarcane aphid, which can be especially important on late-planted sorghum.